The FA have remained very tight-lipped about who will replace Fabio Capello for this summer's Euro 2012 tournament and beyond. While many journalists and commentators have given almost universal endorsement for Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp, English football's governing body has been eerily silent.
That was until this week, when after speaking the BBC, in an interview to be aired over the weekend on World Extra Time, Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside publically gave his backing for Redknapp to get the role. The first words we've heard from any FA member on who will take the job.
In the interview, Gartside said Redknapp would make "an outstanding England manager" and is a "good motivator, with a winning mentality".
Gartside is not part of the panel who will appoint the manager, that fate lies in the hands of former West Ham United star Trevor Brooking, general secretary Alex Horne, Club England managing director Adrian Bevington and FA chairman David Bernstein.
However, as an FA board member, and an influential one at that, Gartside will be charged with ratifying any decision the four-man panel make.
Stuart Pearce remains the hot favorite to have the job for this summers tournament, but if Redknapp chooses to see through the season with Tottenham Hotspur before moving up to the England managers job, there's a chance he could be involved in England's first friendly of next season, which has been confirmed against Italy on August 15th. The game will be classed as an England 'home' game despite being played in Berne, Switzerland.
The game is being played overseas as the date is too close to the finale of the this summer's Olympic Games, held in London.